In a certain sense, we're all content curators, choosing what information we share with friends and colleagues all the live-long day. But there's a business value to content curation, and you can derive it if you follow this advice for becoming a trusted curator:
1. Share judiciously.
Socially sharing anything that catches you eye isn't going to cut it. Instead, think about the people in your network and choose only the items that are useful or interesting to them. Your ability to prune the overgrowth of social content shows your point of view, establishes your influencers and pegs you as a source of thoughtful and actionable information.
2. Establish context.
Add value to your curation by including a little context, where possible. This might be an introductory paragraph on your blog or sentence on status updates, a micro-commentary on Twitter, or links to related content. Hashtags also can help you create context in a handful of characters.
3. Encourage engagement.
Bring your audience into the mix by asking them for comments or RTs. This creates a dialog that can create additional context, build community, spur ideas for original content and new information sources, and expand your network.
4. Organize it.
Use hashtags, tags and categories to provide an organizational structure for the content you curate. Grouping information in this way gives your audience an easy way to find a raft of content on particular topics of interest. It also helps you identify trends to create original content around.
One of the best examples of content curation is the SwitchPoint Reader, created by IntraHealth International*. This human-curated feed reader pulls content from leading innovators, humanitarians and others from across the social web into an easy-to-use online reader. You can check it out at www.switchpointideas.com.
* Full Disclosure: The Word Factory has provided pro bono services to IntraHealth.